Friday, Oct. 26 • Veterans Memorial Stadium
Everett High is undefeated, winners of 25 straight games, and owners of the No. 1 seed in the Div. 1 North playoff bracket. That means Crimson Tide fans can stand in unison and recite the gratifying, if clichéd, affirmation: “The Road to Gillette Goes Through Veterans Memorial Stadium.”
The postseason bracket was released over the weekend, and once all the
numbers were crunched and the points added up, Everett ended up where it belongs at the top. First- year head coach Theluxon Pierre and the Crimson Tide will start chasing the program’s third consecutive Div. 1 state title Friday night (Oct. 26) at home vs. No. 8 Andover in the North quarter finals. If Everett dispatches Andover, it will be back at home on Friday, Nov. 2 to face either Lexington or Catholic Central. Win that, and EHS will host the sectional title game on Nov. 9. If you’re a big dreamer and don’t view thinking ahead as a jinx, the Div. 1 Super Bowl is the first Saturday of December at Gillette.
The first order of business is conquering the North. St. John’s Prep is the No. 2 seed in the eight-team field, followed by Acton- Boxboro, Central Catholic, Lexington, Methuen, Haverhill, and Andover.
The Prep is a known factor, a team EHS has played countless times over the years and four times in the playoffs since 2010. The two met earlier this season, and the Tide’s 26-14 triumph was nervy. The Eagles were driving for a potential go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter before a defensive stop by the Crimson Tide and a late insurance touchdown put minds at ease.
Acton-Boxboro is far more of a mystery. The Colonels play in the Dual County League, which is far a eld of Everett’s sphere of influence. A-B is not among the myriad teams the Crimson Tide have played in the postseason over the last two- plus decades. But the Colonels are 7-0, they’re scoring 34 points per game, and they’re ranked sixth in the Boston Globe Top 20.
The rest of the eld is made up of Merrimack Valley teams, most of which are familiar to Tide fans. Andover will be playing EHS for the third time since 2010, all in the playoffs. In 2016, the Crimson Tide won a wild game vs. an explosive Golden Warriors team led by dynamic dual threat quarterback E.J. Perry. The final score? A dizzying 62-33.
In 2010, EHS blanked Andover, 21-0, in a semi nal game. That Crimson Tide featured quarterback Jon DiBiaso, which leads us to a cool coincidence: DiBiaso is currently a graduate assistant at Boston College, where he works with the Eagles’ quarterbacks — among them sophomore E.J. Perry, BC’s primary back-up.
This year’s Andover team enters the postseason with modest credentials, as its only wins are against winless Lawrence and a 2-5 Lowell squad.
Everett, on the other hand, has a fantastic track record. In fact, as we sit here today, the Crimson Tide are like a three-day weekend. There’s nothing not to like.
Four of the team’s six wins have come against playoff teams — Xaverian (the top seed in Div. 1 South), Mans eld (the number one team in Div. 2 South), St. John’s Prep, and BC High. The Tide are outscoring the opposition 203-67, as they have featured a balanced offense that has churned out 1,062 rushing yards and 1,062 through the air. The defense hasn’t allowed more than two touchdowns in a game since the season opener at Xaverian. The Tide surrender an average of less than 200 yards per game, have forced 11 turnovers, and are limiting opposing quarterbacks to a completion percentage of less than 40 percent.